Give Up The Guilt. You’re Not A Bad Person

Whether it is regretting that credit card splurge, agonizing about not returning your friend’s call or feeling remorse for not spending more time with your children or [insert your current guilty feeling here]... or worse...

Guilt hovers over you like a dark cloud. Thoughts seem to have a mind of their own, intruding at all hours of the day. Chances are that sometimes we feel guiltier than the inmates of Wormwood Scrubs!
So next time, the Judge Judy in your head goes into overdrive, follow these tips- and banish those bad feelings for good. (Well, I am trying to be positive here. Stay with me!)

#1. Stop beating yourself up
Ok. So you might have not done the right thing when it was required, but that doesn’t make you a monster. Instead of punishing yourself, and focusing on all the terrible things you think you’ve done, remember some of your good deeds.

#2. Do it for you
It might be trying to lose weight, feeling you should work late to please your boss or fretting about spending more quality time with the kids, but chances are there’s always something you think you should be doing. Living up to other people’s expectations leaves you wracked with feelings of guilt and inadequacy.
Ask yourself, what YOU want. The minute you realize your guilt comes from a perceived failure to live up to other people’s expectations, it will gradually disappear.

#3. Apologies
Sometimes, there’s a good reason for feeling guilty; like forgetting your anniversary, or forgetting to call your Mum on Mother’s day for example.

If your guilt is rational, then try to apologies as soon as possible. An honest apology will make the person you’ve upset feel better. (It might take a long time for them to forgive and forget though!)
Putting it off the apology will only intensify your feelings and you’ll waste energy fretting about it.

#4. Be a Do-Gooder
With so many atrocities going on in this world, it's easy to feel guilty about your own good fortune. We can’t always right every wrong. So try focusing on the little things you can change. You can do for other’s what they can't do for themselves.

It might not be enough to save the world, but it will soothe your conscience not knowing that at least you’re doing your bit.

#5. See the flip side
Begin appreciating what you’ve got instead of stressing about what you haven't got (I know this is easier said than done). There are always two sides to every story ;-)

#6. Get it off your chest
Sometimes the best thing is to talk it out. Tell someone you can confide in about your guilt.


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3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this. :)

Anonymous said...

The thing I feel most guilty about is once seeing a puppy flailing about, obviously injured on a payment and after standing around, wondering what to do, just walking on without doing anything.

I didn't do it because I was innately cruel or even indifferent but because I am a very unsure, indecisive individual whose favorite past time is fading into the wall paper.
Whenever anything hurtful or embarassing happens to me or anyone else around me, I just duck my head and hope for the problem to go away soon.

That is what I did in this instance. I was so unused to making desicions or taking charge that I didn't know what to do and so walked on and now I'll always be haunted by the image of a writhing puppy.

I just came across your blog. You seem to be a very positive and nice person. I too am trying to be but so far its a losing battle. I have gotten used to the constant chant of 'I HATE MYSELF', exploding in my brain every few minutes and I am unable to stop it.

Di Case said...

I want to say the following without sounding too out there but here goes.
I have come to know the One who took my guilt and now know I don't have to beat myself up over things I have done wrong.
If I recognise my mistake and say sorry I can move on.
There is only one true remover of guilt and it isn't me or you or the guy next door.
Jesus said He was the way and I am happy with that.
I feel safe knowing that even when I stuff up and recognise it I am called friend.
di

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